Giant killers: The biggest bosses in gaming

The bigger they are

Most of the time, video games feed into our wildest power fantasies. You might think youre hot stuff, slashing through waves of enemies your own size and terrorizing baddies smaller than yourself. Then, just when youre starting to feel truly untouchable, it happens: A boss fight so dauntingly giant, it makes you freeze in a mix of awe and excitement. Every enemy youve faced up until this point is like a subatomic particle by comparison. You'll wonder how you could even begin to take down such an imposing colossus.

But the best part of facing these titanic enemies is prevailing in the face of insurmountable odds. Developers have handled huge boss fights in a multitude of ways, with the path to victory taking many different, grandiose forms. Some games opt for something as simple as a quick-time event, while others task you with complex, multi-stage struggles. Whatever the method for downing these behemoths, its always a rush to stand triumphant atop a corpse the size of a skyscraper.

Darkside (Kingdom Hearts)

Just how big is he? About 30 feet tall; think a three-story house. A recurring enemy throughout the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Darkside has terrorized Sora and company time and again with his hulking, tentacle-headed mass. Dont be fooled by the heart-shaped hole in his chest and dinky little legs; going toe-to-toe with this yellow-eyed goliath is pretty daunting, especially considering that hes the first freakin boss in a game about Disney characters.

So how do you take him down? For a guy whose only job is to destroy a spiky-haired teenager, Darkside doesnt seem to try very hard. All you have to do is wait until he punches the ground to spawn harmless Shadows, then smack his hand like mad. Dont get cocky, though--his health pool is way bigger the second and third time around. Because if youre going to make a boss this cool-looking, why squander him as the first encounter when you can recycle his character model?

Kraid (Super Metroid)

Just how big is he? 50 feet tall, judging from the fact that the 6 3 Samus stands at about one-eighth of his height. When Kraid first reveals his green, scaly mug, he pops halfway out of the ground before revealing his full two-screens-tall size. He might pale in stature compared to the other bosses on this list, but when we first stared down this reptilian fiend as kids, we wanted to curl up in a ball and roll away. Actually, we did do that.

So how do you take him down? Dont let his size intimidate you--Kraids a pushover compared to his purple pterodactyl buddy Ridley. Kraids T. rex-sounding roars are all bark and no bite, giving you the opportunity to hop up to a platform and plug his mouth and face full of missiles. Avoid his weird spiked belly-button projectiles and spinning talons, and youll smoke him without much fuss. Treat yourself post-fight by donning the sweet, sweet Varia Suit.

Red Eye (Lost Planet 2)

Just how big is it? 50 feet high, potentially miles in length. Think of the Red Eye as one of Dunes sandworms thats been fed a steady diet of anabolic steroid factories. Even in a franchise as obsessed with huge monsters as Lost Planet, the Red Eye stands out for making you feel like youre moments from being unceremoniously devoured. Its spiky exterior, baleen-like mouth filters, and unimaginable length (thats what she said) all make it one of the most frightening Akrids this side of E.D.N. III.

So how do you take him down? By blasting it with increasingly large cannons. Red Eye will first terrorize you while youre on a train; youll have to use mounted (and extremely difficult to aim) turrets to keep it at bay. Youll then hop into the Railway Gun, a weapon so massive it requires two trains for transport. After youve cracked through Red Eyes crusty shell, youll finish the job by firing a mini-nuke into its gullet. If that didnt kill him, nothing would.

Metal Gear RAY (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Just how big is he? Over 65 feet tall. Like a big robotic frog, the RAY is a formidable weapon that works just as well underwater as it does on land. The US Marine Corps conceptualized the RAY as a weapon that could take down opposing Metal Gears; unfortunately, the Patriots snatched up the plans to produce the weapon for themselves. The Patriots mightve gone a little overboard in that regard, constructing 25 copies of RAY. One would definitely have been enough.

So how do you take him down? By evening the odds with your very own Metal Gear. To take on this robotic titan, Solid Snake commandeers Metal Gear REX, which he had previously fought in the original Metal Gear Solid. Armed with an armor-shredding gatling gun, laser cannon, and anti-tank missiles, youll gradually reduce the RAY to a hunk of scrap metal. Its a large-scale fight unlike any other in the MGS franchise. Who knew Snake would make such a great mech pilot? Oh, right, everyone.

Iustitia (Bayonetta)

Just how big is he? Between 50-70 feet tall; infinitely taller if hes sticking his tongue in the air. Have you ever asked yourself What could be more repulsive than a tentacle monster? Bayonetta answers that age-old question by pitting you against a tentacle monster with a babys face and voice. Scratch that--a seven-faced Auditio (read: massive angel boss) that has cherubic faces at the tip of its revoltingly long tongue. Add in some nasty-looking venus fly trap mandibles, and you have one of the most abstract, disturbing boss designs since Cerberus from Dantes Inferno.

So how do you take him down? By slicing off its many baby-faced tongues. Bayonettas Wicked Weave hair attacks will come in handy to weaken the boss, but thats only half the battle. Youll need to sprint down Iustitias immense tongue to reach the primary weak spots. Those weak spots are liable to turn your stomach: Iustitia will barf out a tender-looking chunk of tongue, which Bayonetta will slice clean off and bask in a shower of Iustitias blood and bright orange vomit. Bleh.

The Leviathan (Dead Space)

Just how big is it? 80 feet tall, equivalent to the size of NASAs (and the worlds) largest wind tunnel. As for the full length of this immense necromorph, thats hard to say; the Leviathan has been growing in the USG Ishimuras food storage facility for some time, accumulating mass by absorbing food and corpses alike. So really, Isaacs only attacking the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In this instance, that iceberg is composed of a disgusting, organic nightmare, complete with biologically produced bombs. (Editor's Note: This isn't a poop joke.)

So how do you take it down? Initially, you might be too terrified of this tunnel-sized enemy to notice his glaring vulnerabilities. But itll dawn on you that the Leviathan has three plain-as-day weak spots, in the form of the bright yellow explosive bulbs embedded in its three tentacles. Once youve blasted those, the biological horror will open its octopus-like mouth to hock volatile loogies at you. Shoot its exposed uvula, and Leviathan will go down for the count. No sweat!

Necrogiant (Painkiller)

Just how big is he? We want to say ~90 feet tall, given the fact that he towers over you like a sentient building. This giant freak looks like someone slapped two spiky, pirate-style peglegs on Frankensteins monster. The Necrogiant battle ranks above similar encounters in games like Serious Sam, if only for the fact that you basically have to fight the Necrogiant while staring up from his feet. It goes a long way towards making you feel like an insignificant ant by comparison.

So how do you take him down? The same way you kill pretty much every enemy in Painkiller: pump his body full of lead. Its a pretty unsatisfying boss fight, really; the Necrogiant doesnt react to the copious amount of bullets youre firing at him, so its initially difficult to tell that youre damaging him at all. Just circle strafe to avoid his spike attacks and dont get caught underfoot, and this oversized joker will take a dirt nap in no time.

Deathwing (World of Warcraft)

Just how big is he? About 100 feet tall. We almost went with the Whale Shark for this one, a mob so large you can /target it from any location. But Deathwing, the crazed main villain of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion, takes the cake for having the audacity to completely reshape the entirety of Azeroth, just because he can.

So how do you take him down? The raid encounter with Deathwing is more of an assault on individual appendages than a straight-up face-to-face encounter. Its actually broken up into two parts (the Spine and Madness of Deathwing). The first half of the battle has 25 players riding Deathwings back as they remove three pieces of armor. Once youve grounded him, youll have to dispatch his wings, claws, and tail individually. The grand finale involves facing his ultimate form, with some backup from the almighty Dragon Aspects. This is about as elaborate as a confrontation can get, MMO or otherwise.

Uroboros Aheri (Resident Evil 5)

Just how big is it? Over 100 feet tall, considering that its slimy tentacles extend well above the massive cargo ship that Chris and Sheva fight it on. The buxom Excella Gionne served as the unfortunate host for this advanced strain of the Uroboros virus, serving as the infected pawn for Weskers fiendish plots. The virus transformed her from a foxy CEO to a gruesome mutant in a matter of moments, increasing its mass by devouring a pile of nearby corpses. Much like we do when any cheesesteaks are in our vicinity.

So how do you take it down? Like many bosses, Mother Nature has cursed this creature with gigantic glowing weak spots. The only problem is, Chris wont initially have the firepower to make a dent in its oozing exterior. Its fortunate, then, that there just so happens to be a Satellite Laser Device nearby. Alternatively, you can kill it with a single shot from the Rocket Launcher, provided you had the foresight to stash one before the fight.

Lucas Sullivan

Lucas Sullivan is the former US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. Lucas spent seven years working for GR, starting as an Associate Editor in 2012 before climbing the ranks. He left us in 2019 to pursue a career path on the other side of the fence, joining 2K Games as a Global Content Manager. Lucas doesn't get to write about games like Borderlands and Mafia anymore, but he does get to help make and market them.